ABSTRACT Despite strong national economic growth and significant poverty reduction during the late 1990s, high poverty persisted in remote rural areas. This study uses a geographical information system county database to examine the nexus between rural U.S. poverty and remoteness. We find that poverty rates increase with greater rural distances from successively larger metropolitan areas (MAs). We explain this outcome as arising from the attenuation of urban agglomeration effects at greater distances and incomplete commuting and migration responses to lower labor demand in rural areas. One implication is that remote areas may particularly experience greater reductions in poverty from place-based economic development policies.